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Local Government Lawyer - Artificial intelligence set to free solicitors from lower-level work: SRA

Local Government Lawyer - Artificial intelligence set to free solicitors from lower-level work: SRA | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Artificial intelligence (AI) will free up solicitors from lower-level work to carry out more complex tasks, a new report from the Solicitors Regulation Authority has said. The report, Technology and legal services, suggests that rapid developments in AI will mostly be focused on back-office functions. “This will allow solicitors to focus on more complex parts of a case or increase their capacity to engage with clients and potential clients,” the SRA said. “Using AI for legal services could also see firms reduce their costs as overheads for ‘virtual’ parts of a business are lower. And attitudes about using new technology will change as it becomes more commonplace.” The SRA paper also considered the quality of legal work carried out by computers. It found that while it was not 100% accurate in various tests, it had never proven any less accurate than work carried out by humans. “In some cases, it was more so. However, while in one test it took real-life lawyers 92 minutes to complete a task, AI finished the job in 26 seconds,” the SRA said. Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “There is no doubt that new technology has already improved the way legal services work. Latest surveys show that 30% of legal work is now delivered online and the business use of emails has sped up many tasks. “Our report highlights the potential for technology to add further value in the workplace and we are looking further at how AI can enable the provision of high-quality legal services through the government Pioneer Fund award. Many firms are already exploring the possibilities and I would urge all law firms to consider how technology can help you and your business.”
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Brexit's impact on international family law: Sir Mathew Thorpe's take

Brexit's impact on international family law: Sir Mathew Thorpe's take | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Brexit family law...
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PROVING THINGS 136: THE IMPORTANCE OF CROSS-EXAMINATION – YET AGAIN: FAILURE TO CROSS-EXAMINE RESPONDENT LEADS TO FINDINGS BEING SET ASIDE –

PROVING THINGS 136: THE IMPORTANCE OF CROSS-EXAMINATION – YET AGAIN: FAILURE TO CROSS-EXAMINE RESPONDENT LEADS TO FINDINGS BEING SET ASIDE – | Legal In General | Scoop.it
For the second time in a week I am reporting on the importance of cross-examination, albeit from a slightly different angle. The importance of putting the case to a witness  arises clearly and squarely in the judgment of Mr Justice Mostyn in Sait v The General Medical Council (GMC) [2018] EWHC 3160 (Admin).  In this…
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Complaints about judges behaving badly increase 17% in a year | News

Complaints about judges behaving badly increase 17% in a year | News | Legal In General | Scoop.it
The JCIO removed 11 magistrates, two judges, four tribunal judges and two coroners in 2017/18.
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A smartphone court: 'Why not?', asks the lord chief justice | News

A smartphone court: 'Why not?', asks the lord chief justice | News | Legal In General | Scoop.it
International forum on online courts hears top-level enthusiasm for internet increasing access to justice.
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Council’s restrictions on couple's contact unlawful

Council’s restrictions on couple's contact unlawful | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Katy Cowans and Ashley Day analyse the failings of a council after it unlawfully subjected a couple to restrictions and supervision without authorisation
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Family Law Week: Judicial review guide 2018 published by Administrative Court

Family Law Week: Judicial review guide 2018 published by Administrative Court | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Home > News Judicial review guide 2018 published by Administrative Court The Administrative Court has published a judicial review guide containing detailed legal guidance on bringing a judicial review case in the Administrative Court. The 2018 edition reflects legislative and practice changes relevant to the Administrative Court over the last year. It includes guidance on: starting a claim applying for permission for judicial review substantive hearings remedies case management specific practice points ending a claim costs appeals. The guide also includes contact details for the court, information on forms and fees, and addresses for serving documents on government departments. For the guide, click here. 28/11/18
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Stories

Stories | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Have a read of some of the real life stories from barristers, clerks and staff who have experienced wellbeing issues in the past and how they overcame them.
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HMCTS announces expert advisor on open data and academic engagement

HMCTS announces expert advisor on open data and academic engagement | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Dr Natalie Byrom seconded to HMCTS to advise on open data and academic engagement within the context of court reform.
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Guidance to staff on supporting media access to courts and tribunals

Guidance to staff on supporting media access to courts and tribunals | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Guidance for HMCTS staff to encourage and facilitate media access to our courts and tribunals...
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Case summaries

Case summaries | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Costs were awarded against the LA after a dispute in which the LA alleged the mother had mismanaged the P's funds.
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New podcasts

New podcasts | Legal In General | Scoop.it
With the start of the legal term, we’ve posted three great podcasts on Law Pod UK. Episode 42 looks at the influence of international law on individual rights after Brexit. In Episode 43 Clare Ciborowska discusses the new offence of coercive and controlling behaviour in family proceedings.
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Weekly Notes: legal news from ICLR — 10 December 2018

The Clooney Foundation for Justice, working with the Columbia University Law School and the American Bar Association, have launched the TrialWatch project to limit the use of the courts as a tool of…...
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Cannabis, Cannabis Oil and CBD Oil | Lextox

Cannabis, Cannabis Oil and CBD Oil | Lextox | Legal In General | Scoop.it
According to a recent report* and as discussed in our blog 'Lextox's Most Commonly Detected Drugs', cannabis remains the most commonly used drug in the UK with 7.2% of adults aged 16 to 59 having used it in the last year – that's approximately 2.4 million people.
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PROVING THINGS 135: WHAT A DIFFERENCE CROSS-EXAMINATION CAN MAKE –

PROVING THINGS 135: WHAT A DIFFERENCE CROSS-EXAMINATION CAN MAKE – | Legal In General | Scoop.it
There has been much controversy recently about the need for cross-examination when allegations are made.  I have no intention of entering that controversy, however those who want to be fully informed on these matters should read the judgment of Mr Justice Martin Spencer in  Brayshaw v The Partners of Apsley Surgery & Anor [2018] EWHC 3286…
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Child abuse solicitor fined after disclosure to journalist | News

Child abuse solicitor fined after disclosure to journalist | News | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Respondents complained after information shared in pre-action protocol appeared in newspaper article.
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Pupil barristers to get up to 50% more under new minimum salary | News

Pupil barristers to get up to 50% more under new minimum salary | News | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Bar regulator confirms new mandatory minimum wage rules will come into force in September.
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What’s the difference between a “law report” and a “transcript”?

What’s the difference between a “law report” and a “transcript”? This is one of those questions where the answer is as obvious to some as it is inconspicuous to others. It is also a question that may, quite reasonably, strike some as a bit pedantic.
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Media regulation update | The Transparency Project

Media regulation update | The Transparency Project | Legal In General | Scoop.it
There have been a number of developments in media regulation since the government decided, earlier this year, to abandon long-promised plans to resume the Leveson Inquiry into press misconduct (Leveson Part 2): see our earlier post, Press regulation: the end of the road for Leveson reforms. First, the decision itself was the subject of judicial review proceedings which the High Court has dismissed; second, the government has responded to an earlier consultation about changes to legislation affecting costs of defamation which it now aims to bring into force; third, a new multimedia resource has been launched for those wishing to research the original Leveson Inquiry. Court decides Leveson 2 reversal not unlawful A claim by victims of press intrusion, for judicial review of the government’s decision on 1 March 2018 not to proceed with the second part of the Leveson inquiry into press misconduct, has failed. In reaching the decision complained of, the government rejected the recommendation of Sir Brian Leveson himself that Part 2 of the Inquiry should proceed, in accordance with the ‘legitimate expectation’ of the phone-hacking victims and others. As we commented at the time: Sir Brian’s own reference (a very carefully chosen and judicious one, no doubt) to there being a ‘legitimate expectation’ of the inquiry being resumed might be interpreted in some quarters as flagging up a possible ground for a claim for judicial review. That was indeed the basis of the claim for judicial review in R (Jefferies & ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 3239 (Admin). The claimants, Christopher Jefferies, Dr Gerry and Kate McCann, and Jacqui Hames, had all participated in Part 1 of the Inquiry, but the evidence they gave was limited by the fact that there were pending criminal proceedings, the conclusion of which would permit the continuation of the inquiry in Part 2, when it was expected that they would give fuller evidence. The legitimate expectation on which they relied was a promise, said to have been made by David Cameron, as the Prime Minister who had set up the inquiry in the first place, at a private meeting with the campaign group Hacked Off on 21 November 2012. It was the failure of the successor government of Prime Minister Theresa May, in 2018, to take that promise into account in considering whether or not to continue the Leveson Inquiry, that was said to invalidate the decision complained of. In public or administrative law, a legitimate expectation is a clear, unambiguous and unqualified assurance, understood by those to whom it is given, that a particular course of action will be taken or a particular procedure will be followed. It is not essential that any person to whom the promise is made should have relied upon it to their detriment, but it certainly helps. Bitter disappointment is not enough, however. In this case, the court said, the circumstances were not such as to give rise to a legitimate expectation. It was a private meeting, intended to enable the participants to exchange views frankly, and conducted on the basis that “what is said in this room stays in this room”. The concept of legitimate expectation was rooted in the principles of fairness, in the public law sense, and it would not be fair for a statement made in such circumstances to be permitted to ground a claim for judicial review. For these and other reasons, the court dismissed the claim. A press release from Hacked Off suggests we may not have heard the last of this: Victims vow to fight on after Leveson Part Two judicial review finds in favour of government Costs provisions in LASPO Section 44 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), which prevented a winning lawyer’s success fee in civil proceedings being recovered from the losing party, was not initially brought into effect in relation to media claims such as defamation and privacy cases pending the outcome of the Leveson Inquiry. Section 44 was part of a scheme in the 2013 Act to reform the operation of ‘no win no fee’ conditional fee agreements (CFAs) mainly in relation to personal injury cases. At the time, the government planned a more bespoke arrangement in relation to costs for media claims. Now that the Leveson Inquiry has been discontinued, the government has announced that it plans to bring section 44 into force in relation to media cases as well. However, after the event (ATE) insurance premiums would remain recoverable for these cases. In a written ministerial statement, Lord Chancellor David Gauke explained: This approach — of abolishing recoverability of the conditional fee agreement success fee, but retaining it for the after the event insurance premium — will protect access to justice, since parties with good cases can still benefit from recoverable after the event insurance in respect of adverse costs; after the event insurance discourages weaker cases as these are unlikely to be insured. This provision will come into force for new cases on 6 April 2019. The new arrangements are also designed to comply with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in in MGN v United Kingdom (2011) 53 EHRR 5. In the MGN case (which arose out of a famous breach of confidence claim by the model Naomi Campbell against the Mirror), the court concluded that the obligation for the losing newspaper defendant to pay a 100% ‘success fee’ to the claimant was disproportionate, and that the conditional fee agreements regime was in breach of the publisher’s rights to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Government has explained all this in ‘Costs protection in defamation and privacy claims: the Government’s proposals’, its (somewhat belated) response to a 2013 consultation, which had heard concerns that success fee recovery could have a chilling effect on investigative journalism. The result is to put the costs regime affecting media claims against the press very much back in the favour of the publishers, in complete contrast to the position as it would have been if the government had implemented the recommendations of the Leveson Report and implemented section 40 of the of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. As explained in our earlier post, that would have protected publishers against the costs of unsuccessful claims only if they were regulated by an approved independent regulator (which most of them aren’t). But when the government put the brakes on Leveson Part 2 they also announced that they would repeal section 40. New Leveson Inquiry resource Finally, for anyone interested in researching the first part of the Leveson Inquiry, the Journalism Department at Kingston University, in a project led by Professor Brian Cathcart, have launched Discover Leveson. Two years in the making, Discover Leveson is a new, fully searchable and freshly curated online public archive, ensuring that any reader, from the professional to the casual, can now tap into this rich resource easily and even enjoyably. In this way, the efforts of the Inquiry and of those who gave evidence will not be wasted, and there is a greater chance that its primary mission – learning lessons for the future regulation of journalism – will be fulfilled. Although the original Leveson Inquiry website has been preserved by the National Archives, it was “structured according to a logic that made sense for a live inquiry” and was no longer suited to ongoing research. The material on Discover Leveson has been organised around themes including Law, Regulation, Journalism and society, Ethics and abuses, and the Police. All the witnesses are listed and you can both watch their live testimony and read their evidence. An example of the much better way the new site works is that you can find and view the video recording of the session featuring a particular witness, and see their written testimony, all from the same page. On the archived official site, they are stored separately (though linked) and you need to know which session they appeared in before you can find, somewhere in the midst of it, that particular half-day’s video recording. (It’s not even clear that those video recordings are still accessible, though you can read the transcript.) Moreover, the video recording on Discover Leveson is linked to a scrolling display of the full transcript underneath. The pages are also clearly laid out and well designed. In short, the site more than lives up to the promise that it can be used “easily and even enjoyably”. Featured image by Erica Minton on Flickr (Creative Commons licence – thanks!)
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Family Law Week: Pensions transferred by terminally ill woman liable to IHT, Court of Appeal rules

Family Law Week: Pensions transferred by terminally ill woman liable to IHT, Court of Appeal rules | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Home > News Pensions transferred by terminally ill woman liable to IHT, Court of Appeal rules HMRC win appeal where divorcee sought to prevent husband receiving any of her pension A pension fund, transferred by a divorced and terminally ill woman in order to prevent her ex-husband from receiving any of it, is subject to Inheritance Tax, the Court of Appeal has ruled. In The Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs v Parry and Others [2018] EWCA Civ 2266, the Court of Appeal heard that Mrs RF Staveley had successfully built up a company, Morayford Ltd ("M"), with her husband. She was a director of it. The couple divorced (it is said acrimoniously) and as part of a settlement for the divorce M granted her a pension in the form known as a "section 32 buyout policy" (that is, a pension policy to which section 32 of the Finance Act 1981 applied). In October 2006, within two months of her death on 18 December 2006, aged only 56 years, she transferred this section 32 policy to a personal pension policy, referred to in the judgment as "PPP", issued by AXA. If Mrs Staveley's pension had remained in the section 32 policy then on her death a lump sum would have been payable to her estate and chargeable to IHT. Under the PPP, Mrs Staveley nominated her two sons as her beneficiaries in relation to the death benefit, so that it might be paid direct to them on her death. At all times they were residuary beneficiaries under the terms of her will, which was dated 31 March 2005. Mrs Staveley did not take any retirement benefit so that at the date of her death the whole of her pension fund was uncrystallised. Although she did not appreciate this, that meant that, if the purchase exemption applied, the sons would receive the death benefit free of IHT. The First Tier Tribunal had found that Mrs Staveley's sole motive for the transfer was to avoid the possibility of any part of her pension funds reverting to M, and thus to her former husband. HMRC challenged her decision and applied IHT on the pension that passed to her sons. It argued that the pension transfer was a chargeable lifetime transfer, or transfer of value, as it intended to reduce the value of her estate for IHT purposes. In 2017 the First Tier Tribunal rejected HMRC's case and that decision was upheld by the Upper Tier Tribunal. However, the Court of Appeal has unanimously decided that the pension fund is subject to Inheritance Tax, albeit the reasoning of Lady Ardern of Heswell differed from that of her fellow judges Newey LJ and Birss J. For the judgment, click here. 21/10/18
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Why social workers should question the use and origins of 'failure to protect' in domestic violence cases

Why social workers should question the use and origins of 'failure to protect' in domestic violence cases | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Stacey Stewart critically analyses the origins of failure to protect and its impact on social work assessments and practice...
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Jay v Secretary of State for Justice [2018] EWHC 2620 (Fam) (08 October 2018)

Jay v Secretary of State for Justice [2018] EWHC 2620 (Fam) (08 October 2018) | Legal In General | Scoop.it
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New guidance for anaesthetists (and others) about Jehovah’s Witnesses and patients who refuse blood –

New guidance for anaesthetists (and others) about Jehovah’s Witnesses and patients who refuse blood – | Legal In General | Scoop.it
The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland have just (1 October) published guidance on anaesthesia and peri-operative care for Jehovah’s Witnesses and patients who refuse b…...
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